Why PVP?

It’s not just our health and social care services that support communities.

Since 2006 we have been supporting the rehabilitation of currently serving offenders by offering volunteering placements in our shops and central offices. We work with offenders from over 35 open and closed UK prisons, all of whom are reaching the end of their custodial sentence and are being released on temporary licence to help them in the process of rehabilitation and resettlement.

Many of our PVP volunteers have said the programme played a key role in helping them develop the experience, communication skills and references needed to secure a job after their release.

With 94% of all our prison volunteers saying they been offered formal job specific training opportunities. The scheme has also been praised by the prisons we work with, recognising the long-term impact the scheme has on prisoners lives following their release.

We have continued to work with Sue Ryder over the last 12 months with our prisoners from Britannia House. This scheme works extremely well within our resettlement regime, it helps towards the future release of our prisoners and ensures that they become part of the local community. Sue Ryder is an integral part of our resettlement regime offering work experience, training and employment opportunities in the retail sector.

Will Styles, Governor, HMP Norwich

Is there a risk?

Prisoners accepted on our scheme are considered to be the lowest risk within the prison system and have worked hard to improve their life choices. All the prisoners are fully risk assessed before being released on temporary licence.

Why we work with prisoners

Ex-offenders are 13 times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population. And while it is well documented that employment is critical to the prevention of re-offending, the fact remains that only 36% of all people leaving prison go on to any form of education, training or work.

Sue Ryder’s pioneering Prison Volunteer Programme addresses this issue head-on, preparing offenders for paid work on release from prison while also providing the opportunity for them to give something back to the community. So far 80.6% of our participants have reported that they learned new skills which they believed would improve their long-term job prospects.

To date, we have offered paid employment to 5% of all people who have accessed the scheme.

It's meant that when I get released I’ll be has prepared for getting back into the community.

Our volunteers

From providing vital employment skills to boosting confidence and self-esteem, our PVP programme has had a big impact on volunteers.

Key facts

  • We have placed over 3,000 prisoners as volunteers in our offices and shops since launching PVP in 2006.
  • Around 300 prisoners volunteer with Sue Ryder every year.
  • We have 100 volunteers on this scheme at any one time volunteering across 75 locations.
  • Preventing one person from re-offending can save the tax-payer up to £45,000 a year.
Our Awards
Whether it’s helping people with disabilities to live an ordinary life or feel part of their community, or supporting someone who's been in prison to find a career.
Breaking the cycle: A second chance
Since 2006 we have been supporting the rehabilitation of currently serving offenders by offering volunteering placements in our shops and central offices.
Our programme has been independently evaluated at the House of Lords and has received positive feedback from participants. Learn more.